Our Founding Fathers were some of the most liberal people on the planet – then and now. Consider the questions they had to ask, and their answers in the form of our Constitution. Remember – they were forming a completely new government.
Where shall power reside? Three branches of government with checks and balances – Executive, Legislative, and Judicial.
How are leaders chosen? The President (not Monarch or King or Pope or Dictator) is elected by an Electoral College, members selected by popular vote.
What rights are assured? Whoa, hang on conservatives – these are merely a sampling:
- The right of freedom of speech, freedom of expression..
- The right to worship wherever one chooses (the Government is out of the religion business). Or to not worship at all if one so chooses.
- The right to self-protection and the possession of ‘arms’.
- The right to privacy
- The right to freedom from search and seizure
- Legal protection
- Freedom of movement
- Freedom of association
- Labor rights
- Equal opportunity
- Due process
- Property rights
- Right to a public trail
- Right to confront witnesses
- Right to an impartial jury
- Right to counsel
- Freedom from cruel and unusual punishment.
Are these conservative values? Modern day conservatives imply that rights are selective depending on the situation. Some of the modern complexities have developed over many years. Health Care, for instance.
A current case being presented to the Supreme Court (a liberal notion) involves Employer provided Health Care for employees. We have a conflict between the rights of the business owner the the rights of the individual employee. This problem evolved over years and is justification for a single payer health plan. The debate should not be between the rights of one versus another. The business owner surely has the right to spend his money, to grant extra benefits to his employees by providing health insurance of his choosing. The question in the Hobby Lobby health care plan is misdirected. A twist of fate in the development of labor rights led to employer sponsored health care. The assumption that people have a right to access to the full scope of modern health care should not be forced on another (the employer). The right to accessible health care would best be separated from the rights of employers – these are two different issues. Accessible health care is not a labor issue. Sadly, long ago practices of connecting health care to employment have muddied the water.
Opportunity for individuals to have health care should not be tied to their opportunity to work.
When individuals collectively bargain they are able to spread the costs between them – thus creating equal opportunity for all. The rights of the individuals working at Hobby Lobby should not be tied to the rights of the Owners of the business – and conversely – the rights of the owner should not be dependent on the rights of the employees. The problem is that our society has come to expect health care be connected to employment.
Let the employer pay a higher wage and the individual employee can purchase health insurance trough an exchange.
Do you get the problem? Too many of our rights have been tied to other extraneous social structure and thus the clarity is lost on peripheral arguments.
The one thing that is certain is that our Founding Fathers were not conservatives.